Got me some Wild Things at the OKC Zoo!

One of the things that I love about traveling with kids of all ages (we have 9 with us, ages 2 to 18), is that we have an excuse to go anywhere! LOL!  We need to go to the children’s museums for the littles, the science museums for the middles, and unique stops like the National Cowboy Museum for the bigs.  And we always have to go to the zoo – for everyone.  :)   While we were in Oklahoma City, we spent a day at the Oklahoma City Zoo!DSC_0645_136e2DSC_0511_002eWe’ve been to a lot of zoos,  :)  and we loved this one for several reasons; one of the main ones was that it is a big zoo, where the animals have room to roam, and the enclosures were really clean.  Some of the animals had multiple roaming areas where staff could rotate them between pens to give the animals more variety. DSC_0516_007e The zoo also had lots of variety – there were indoor exhibits, like the pachyderm house.  There weren’t any ‘pachyderms’ (elephants, rhinos, hippos…) inside when we were there, but one side of the building is lined with bird cages.  The kookaburras are always my favorite!   (FYI, because you are in OK, there are 4 storm shelters at the OKC zoo, and this building is one of them)   :)DSC_0529_020e The kids were looking at a pygmy hippo!  He was pretty cute!  :)DSC_0543_034e This crocodile monitor was pretty fascinating…  Did you know crocodile monitors can grow up to NINE feet long?  I sure wouldn’t want to meet one that big!  This guy was about 5 feet in length, and I wouldn’t care to meet him out in the wild either! He was crawling all over his cage!  …and that was another thing that we loved about this zoo…the animals seemed happy! LOL!  I’m not sure why it seemed like it, but they were very actively exploring their cages, eating, coming to the edges of their areas and engaging…(or maybe thinking about eating the littles?.?.rofl!).DSC_0546_037e Peacock roaming the grounds…DSC_0571_062e The flamingos were walking around their habitat.  There were even 3 that seemed like they were arguing! They were all facing off, making noises at each other and ruffling up their feathers.  Pretty funny to see these pink birds act all tough! LOL.DSC_0576_067e There were several different kinds of rhinos.  They had extra enclosures so the rhinos could rotate for a new setting.DSC_0590_081e This guy had been cooling off in a mud hole… all the ground down here around OKC is made up of red clay…DSC_0595_086e The giraffes are always popular in our house…DSC_0618_109e The OKC Zoo gives visitors the opportunity to feed the giraffe.  The giraffe would just stand there and wait for someone to walk over and feed him… DSC_0645_136eThe park has a tour train that takes you on a loop near some of the big animal enclosures, like the giraffe pen and the rhinos…DSC_0638_129eThe zoo also offers tram rides that cover more of the park, if you would like to take a more inclusive tour of the the grounds.
Peanut and her statue pictures!!! DSC_0662_153e The OKC Zoo offers various ‘keeper talks’ depending on what day of the week that you visit.  We went to a talk at the Elephant Pavillion, and learned about cute little Malee and her mom. DSC_0690_181e Malee just turned 3, and is going to be a big sister at the end of this year!  How fun to visit OKC Zoo to see the new ‘bundle’ 😉 in a few months!!!DSC_0688_179eSelfies. at the zoo. :)DSC_0718_209eOKC Zoo has lots of trees and foliage that isn’t in the animal pens.  It was such a beautiful day out when we went, we appreciated the shade, and all the benches for relaxing while touring the exhibits! DSC_0719_210e The whole picture-with-a-statue thing has become ‘tradition’ with the little girls; and there were lots of these fun bronze statues distributed all over the park.  I couldn’t begin to post all of the pictures (plus, I wouldn’t do that to you).  It’s kind of fun to have some little ‘thing’ to do whenever you visit certain kinds of places!  DSC_0723_214e You know how we are about smooshed pennies – the ultimate RV traveler souvenir!!!  They are cheap, don’t weigh anything, and the kids enjoy collecting them and putting them in little booklets made just for that.  The zoo had 4 machines (that we saw).  Daniel is the one most into collecting the pressed pennies – he makes just one at each location, and seldom decides which pattern to press until he’s seen all the machines.  He has about 3 dozen from this winter alone.DSC_0729_220eWe always love the ‘local animals’ area of the zoo!!!  It gives us a better idea of what the area is like where we are visiting… DSC_0734_225e There were 2 grizzlies out when we went by their enclosure.  One of the bears had just gotten out of the water and was dripping all over as he walked along.  The other played under the waterfall for some time before lumbering out and growling back and forth with the first.  DSC_0762_252e In the Oklahoma building, we found all sorts of indoor exhibits of local reptiles (as well as drinking fountains to refill our reusable water bottles).DSC_0769_259e Caleb is really into snakes lately, so he was excited over all the rattlesnakes!DSC_0773_263e Caleb and this big alligator snapping turtle were having a stare down.  It was really funny how much the turtle was checking the kids out – he would go along the glass and look at one for a bit, then move on to the next.  I’m thinking Caleb’s fat little fingers were the perfect snack size because he stayed right in front of Caleb until we left! LOL!DSC_0785_275e The river otters startled Molly to death! hehehe!DSC_0801_291w They were total show offs!!!DSC_0803_293e The Oklahoma area was on of the ones I liked the best – the waterfalls drowned out all other noises, and there were open areas of woods that looked so natural.  Plus, there were alligators!!!  Did you know that Oklahoma has alligators in the wild?  Me neither!!! But, in the southeast corner of the state, there are alligators found, in the wild, in one county.  That’s good enough for me!DSC_0809_299e The zoo has 2 bald eagles. Eagles are protected by federal law, but both of these eagles were injured, and the zoo now gives them a home in conjunction with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  Neither of the raptors can fly – one was shot in the wing, and the other was hit by a semi (which is why you will always see them on the ground, and they do not need to be in a covered enclosure)… DSC_0811_301e The zoo grounds are so green and lush; the girls and I loved to check out all the flowers that we don’t see back home in MT…DSC_0847_337ed Tribe Pride!!!DSC_0861_351w Be sure to pick up a zoo map when you visit the OKC Zoo – the grounds are extensive, and it would be easy to miss something cool!  Like the herpetarium.  Don’t know what a herpetarium is?

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I didn’t either, but the sign has a picture of a snake on it, and sure enough, it was a building with tons of snake habitats in it!!!
DSC_0869_359eI’m pretty sure Satan was a rattlesnake.
Doesn’t this guy just look evil???
LOL!
DSC_0879_369e The zoo has a beautiful carousel filled with endangered animals…DSC_0901_391e and 2 different playground areas!  DSC_0908_398e The meerkat’s lookout.  These guys are such a riot to watch!DSC_0910_400e The OKC Zoo has lots of opportunities to interact with the animals; they have a great stingray touch tank at Stingray Bay…DSC_0917_407e And there are several aviaries on the grounds. DSC_0930_420eOne of the fun, interactive things that the kids participated in was a memory scavenger hunt.  In the Oklahoma area of the zoo are 4 special signs.  If the kids find the signs (can’t miss them), and remember what 4 animals they find on the signs, they can tell the staff at the guest relations office at the entrance, and receive a treat!

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Also, if you can visit the OKC Zoo in the near future, be sure to ‘like’ them on Facebook” – they often have special promos going on; right now you can win fun, free t-shirts…
My ‘Wild’ things got some…the little girls got ones that said “I’m a Wild Child” while the bigger sized boys got ‘I’m a Wild Thing’ – how appropriate! :)
DSC_0940_430e(and the back has a big sting ray on it!)
There is lots going on at the zoo this year!  In addition to the new addition in the elephant habitat, the zoo is building an animal hospital on the grounds that is slated to be opening this fall!!!  It will have observation areas where visitors will be able to watch veterinarians and staff do needed and maintenance medical procedures on the animals. The zoo is also working on getting the new ‘Expedition Asia’ section of the zoo opened.

We all loved this zoo.  While we spent a day there, it was a bit of a push to see it all (we are meanderers! :) ), especially since the littles wanted to stop to play in several areas, including the Children’s Zoo; lots to both see, and do, in this one!
Tips for visiting the OKC Zoo:
*the paths through the zoo are spacious and nicely paved, and we were really glad that we took a stroller for Molly (4) in addition to Caleb’s.  take a stroller or wagon if you have littles.
*get there early because there is so much to do
* there are places to get lunch on the grounds, or you can bring in a picnic – there is a picnic area, centrally located, just for that.
*bring cash if you want to do any of the extras in the zoo – you buy tokens, from vending machines, to ride the carousel, swan peddle boats, the safari voyage (boat ride out on the lake)…
*don’t forget your camera – lots of photo ops – including a beautiful butterfly garden, and closeups with the animals
*be sure to pick up a map at the entrance so you don’t miss any area of the park!  :)

The OKC Zoo is located in the Adventure District of Oklahoma City, so it’s very conveniently located!  (the Twin Fountains RV park is very conveniently located nearby).
Admission to the zoo is incredibly reasonable (some of the cheapest that we have seen!), plus they are AZA members, so reciprocal benes apply if you have an AZA membership already (if not, or if you live near OKC, there is a membership special going on for the month of May, see details here).  The zoo is open 7 days a week, and is even open until 8pm on Saturdays during the summer months!
Heading through OK on Historic Route 66?  The OKC Zoo would make a great family-fun destination for a day off the road!

Lilla Rose

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